A lot of folks my age wish they could turn back the clock and look younger. I advise them not to risk injections of fillers (toxins) and scary surgeries.
Instead I let them in on the secret to a younger looking face… and it’s the same one we’ve always known works for a younger looking body — exercise.
As your face ages, your skin loses its elasticity, getting saggy, and the fat pads between your muscle and skin thin. All of this together causes your face to “fall down.”
But if you exercise the muscles underneath that facial skin, helping them to become bigger, your skin has more “stuffing” underneath it and the firmer muscle makes the shape of your face more full — so you look younger.
Dermatologists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine set out to test the effects of facial exercises on appearance.
The study participants were all middle-aged women 40 to 65 years old who were given facial exercises to do at home for a period of 20 weeks.
For the first eight weeks they did the exercises daily for 30 minutes. From nine to 20 weeks, they did the same exercises every other day for 30 minutes each time.
At the end of the study, dermatologists compared the women’s before and after pictures and rated the participant’s age at the beginning, at eight weeks and at week 20.
The raters found that upper cheek and lower cheek fullness, in particular, was significantly enhanced as a result of the exercises.
In addition, they estimated the average patient age appearance decreased significantly over the course of the study. It started at 50.8 years, dropped to 49.6 years at eight weeks and then to 48.1 years at 20 weeks.
That’s almost a three-year decrease in age appearance in just 20 weeks.
According to the researchers, the reason for this dramatic improvement is that the exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.
What are the facial exercises that can take years off your face?
Anything that entails puckering and squeezing your cheeks.
That’s because there are many muscles that work together to allow your cheeks to move. And, building these up makes your upper and lower cheeks look fuller. These include:
• The cheek lifter — Open your mouth and form an O. Next, position your upper lip over your teeth and smile to lift your cheek muscles up. Now, place your fingers lightly on the top part of your cheeks and slowly release your check muscles to lower them and lift back up. Repeat by lowering and lifting your cheeks.
• The happy cheeks sculpting — Smile without showing your teeth and then purse your lips together and smile forcing your cheek muscles up. Next, place your fingers on corners of your mouth and slide them up to the top of your cheeks. Hold for 20 seconds.
• Scooping — Open your mouth and say “Ahh” and fold your lips in, wrapping them around your teeth. Push your jaw forward and scoop upward as if you were picking up something heavy with your jaw. As you scoop, tilt your head backward about one inch, going further back with each repetition. On the final rep, your chin should be pointed at the ceiling. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
• The temple developer — Put your fingers on your temples and press lightly while you clench your teeth together as if trying to pull your ears backward. Hold for 10 seconds then clench down on your back teeth and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat.
• Upper eyelid firmer — Press your fingers under your eyebrows and squeeze your eyes tightly together. Now, roll your eyeballs toward the ceiling, stretching your upper eyelid. Hold for 30 seconds.
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